Tag Archives: Travel Notebook

Czech Republic: Short Road Trip In Bohemia And Prague

  


Disclosure: this article was first published in late 2019, 
following a trip made a few months earlier. 

Before this trip, for me, the Czech Republic and especially Prague were exclusively linked to Milan Kundera and Kafka, two of my favorite writers. I am happy to have discovered a bit of Bohemia: the extremely green landscapes, forests and castles. And of course Prague, the architecture, rhythm, small and large streets.

Our short road trip begins with the Brussels Airlines flight which lands in Prague at 11 a.m. Then we collect the rental and take the road to Pilsen and its surroundings.


Text and images below of our exciting itinerary.

Day 1: Pilsen And Surroundings

On Our Way To Pivovarsky Dvur Plzen (Near Pilsen)

Where I experience my very first beer spa at the Purkmistr Beer Spa   (photo above 1). In fact, I’m immersed in a warm beer. Nice! We continue to Pilsen, where we join the Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour, in order to discover the huge Pilsner Urquell brewery (photo below 3). The tour is interesting, but a bit long if like me, you don’t drink beer (2).    

On the road again, we cross beautiful super green landscapes and arrive in the early evening at Kašperské Hory (4), a picturesque village. We dine at the restaurant of Nebespan, Boutique Hotel, whose chef is French. I really enjoy the cool setting, atmosphere, food and team. 

Day 2: Kašperské Hory & Sušice

On The Program: Castles And Bikes

We spend the day with our very friendly guide, Veronika who takes us to the emblematic Kašperk castle (photo above 1 and the two first photos of the article) built in the 14th century on the Ždánov mountain. Near the castle, hiking trails in the Bohemian forest allow you to have different panoramas of the castle.

In the afternoon, from Sušice we take a superb (and sporty) 46 km bike ride in the countryside. Thanks to Veronika, we visit small villages and a romantic castle transformed into a luxury hotel, the Zámek Hrádek (photo above), where we stop for a drink.

Day 3: From Dobříš To Prague

Dobříš & Slapy

We leave Kašperské Hory, where we slept the first two nights. After 1 hour 40 minutes, we arrive in Dobříš, to visit the Dobříš chateau dating from the 18th century (1 & 2). We have lunch on the terrace at Zámecká restaurace Dobříš, the castle restaurant. Then back on the road, we head to the Slapy Water Reservoir on the Vltava, in the Prague-West district, a famous resort for Prague people. 

Lively and colorful surroundings: many small sailing boats come and go (3). While the shores are filled with people in bikini sunbathing on grass. Family and summer atmosphere. We do a nice ride on the water which allows us to better enjoy the landscape sourrounded the lake. And then, we are off to Prague. We leave our luggage at Mama Shelter Prague (6). I cool off and we go to the historic center.

I am super excited: Prague! I’ve been wanting to see Prague for so long! In the historic center, there are too many tourists! We step on each other and lots of drunk young tourists (from 7 p.m.). The monuments are superb, but we decide to return to the Mama Shelter’s area with a quiet hype neighborhood. We dine in the very trendy Cobra Bar (4). I liked everything, the cool atmosphere, music, my hamburger with coconut sauce (5) and the proximity to the Mama Shelter: I said, e-ve-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! 

Day 4: Prague

The Last Day Of Our Breakaway

And my real first day in Prague! We walked for a long time in the center much quieter and more pleasant than the day before. Finally, I enjoy the beauty of the city. Long dreamy break in a terrace bar overlooking the Vltava. I would love to explore more and visit the museums, but we must return to the hotel to collect the car and go to the airport, our return flight is at 6 p.m.

Prague, I will come back!

Where To Sleep? The Mama Shelter Prague

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Czech Tourism 

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to Czech Tourism for this beautiful invitation. As always, these are my opinions. 

Croatia: My Cruise In The Islands

  

A Cruise In The Croatian Islands

 


Disclaimer: this trip was made several months before
the lockdown following Covid-19. I am currently at home.

I usually get seasick. So planning a cruise in Croatia, I was both very excited (because I had already traveled to Croatia and liked it a lot), but also a little concerned. How to deal with seasick for eight days on the nice medium-sized yacht privatized by the travel agency, Blauwe Vogel, for a group of ten travelers? And this is where the magic of the Mediterranean operated (LOL)! Not once did I feel seasick!

On the program: stops at Miljet, Hvar, Brac, Split, Markasa, Korcula and the stunning Dubrovnik. Beautiful landscapes, warm water between ultramarine blue and turquoise, typical villages and historic cities. An explosion of colors and sensations, the beauty of Croatia combined with the one of the Mediterranean Sea. With the friend who accompanied me, at each stopover, we organized an activity, such as for example at Miljet, where we biked along the steep coastline.

Each evening, we also choose a restaurant where to dine. Besides, I ate the best homemade ice cream in Hvar, “my” favorite island of this whole trip (relaxed and joyful atmosphere). If I’m honest, I really liked ALL the stops, even Split which I didn’t like as much as the others, because of the crowds. But we managed to walk through some quiet streets (without tourists) of the old town. Back on board, our cabin with a bathroom, although very simple was very clean and comfortable with the air co. Between two stops, we threw ink into the open sea to bathe. The dream.


Our itinerary in pictures below.

Days 1 & 2:  Arrival In Dubrovnik & Miljet

Day 3:  Hvar

Day 4:  The Beach Of Bol In Brac Island & Split

Day 5: Pusisca In Brac Island & Makarska

Jour 6: Korcula

Days 7 & 8: Dubrovnik & Departure To Brussels

  

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.deblauwevogel.be, Croatia National Tourism Board

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thanks to Deblauwe Vogel for this amazing invitation. As always these opinions are my own. 

Switzerland, Graubünden: From Davos To Valposchiavo

On My Way To Davos

First Stop In Chur

After a short flight from Brussels to Zurich, I’m on the train to Davos, via Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland (over 5000 years old) and capital of Graubünden. My second trip to this awesome Swiss canton: the first time, I was in Lenzerheide and Arosa

I only stop a few hours in Chur to discover the old town. It is snowing a lot! I won’t complain, cause I also came for the snow! My basic city tour is promising. I guess in spring and summer, it should be very nice to visit the old town with its small medieval streets and monuments.   

Hello Davos!

A Sport Walk In The Schatzalp Strela Ski Resort

Hello Davos! What a light and spectacular view this morning! I arrived the previous evening in Davos, where I took a small (shuttle) train to go up to the Hotel Schatzalp. This old sanatorium was made famous by Thomas Mann (the author of “Death in Venice” novel adapted to the screen by Visconti). 

Hotel departure around 9:45 am for a quite physical walk of 2 hours on the Wässerfall Rundgang route. We walk in fresh powder snow, because the narrow path has not yet been groomed. Last night a lot of snow fell!

I am euphoric. Lunch at the Restaurant Strela Alp, enjoying the terrace overlooking ski slopes and for dessert a pie selection. 

A Spa Afternoon

Long spa session at the really cool Hard Rock Hotel Davos (photo on the left below): the rooms, trendy young clientele and general atmosphere suit me more than the Hotel Schatzalp. The hotel is located in the center of Davos, so we stayed in town the evening too. We had a Thai fusion dinner at the very good Monta Grill Restaurant of the Grischa hotel (photo on the right below).  

The Old Sanatorium

If you consider that a hotel is an experience that allows above all to test different universes, then welcome to the Hotel Schatzalp. Ideally located in the middle of majestic mountains covered with fir trees. The panorama is superb. The view, THE VIEW! But I found the facilities and furnitures dated. The hotel was originally a luxurious sanatorium, built between 1898 and 1900, in Art Deco style. A past greatness. 

From Davos To Alp Grüm

On The Panoramic Bernina Express Train

After two nights in Davos, I take a first Rhaetian Railway train from Davos Platz to Filisur, then the famous Bernina Express with panoramic windows from Filisur to Alp Grüm. Breathtaking landscapes! Glaciers, frozen lake, an ocean of snow covers the summits, under an azure sky and a blazing sun. I am amazed and stop at the terminus: the Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm

My “Must” Stay

L’Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm

Suffice to say that I liked everything of this old train station nestled at 2091m and transformed into a restaurant, terrace and hotel, with a very comfortable modern simple interior design. Far from any village and with a 360 degree view of Val Poschiavo, the Alps and the Vadret da Palü glacier.

This place is just magical! Getting lost in contemplation … Below, photos from my bedroom window, at different times of the noght and day. I recommend you to make the reservation of your room well in advance, because there are few rooms.  

Intense Snowshoeing

Arrived at the Albergo Ristorante Alp Grüm in the middle of the day, we took an aperitif on the terrace, then had lunch. In the afternoon, supervised by our guide Romeo Lardi, we go snowshoeing near the Lago Bianco.

I have snowshoeed several times, but this outing is really intense. Our guide is indestructible! It goes up, it goes down, the fast constant pace. I focus on my breathing and the white ocean of snow. I feel good, happiness …

On My Way Back

Albula

This morning, I take the train to Zurich airport. Leaving Alp Grüm, I stop at the picturesque village of Albula. While walking, I look at the pretty facades and an old palace very well renovated. Beautiful village! 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

www.MySwitzerland.com, www.graubuenden.ch, www.churtourismus.ch, www.davos.ch, www.klosters.chwww.valposchiavo.ch, www.swiss.com, www.rhb.ch

Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Review

Many thnaks to My Switzerland, the different tourism boards, the Raethian Railway and Swiss for this beautiful invitation. As always these are my opinions.